We had the good fortune of connecting with Romain Voulet and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Romain, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
Designing something is all about the process, a project only exists by its idea and end result but to finalise a project, the process is the key, it’s all the reasons why you didn’t give up. For every project that go through, there are often so many reasons to give up on the journey, and sometime only a few reasons to keep going, but it is important to cherish the hopes, the « yes » that will throw away all the no’s… and to enjoy that journey, that is where the fragility of an idea resides. As long as you enjoy the journey there is no reason to give up.
We often ask ourselves:
Does the project makes sense for the world? Does that fit into our daily reality?
Do we enjoy the process?
We guess this can extend to business in general, do we enjoy the « everydays » of managing your own company?
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
CP — RV is a collaborative design project run by Camille Paillard and me, we work between London and Marseille. Our practice designs products, home furniture, interior spaces and things to live with. As an industrial design studio, we especially appreciate the variety of projects we work for, the scope is so vast but everything we do has to fit within our daily reality. For us industrial design is about making things that last and that are accessible, useful and joyful to people. We set ourselves to design products that have a subtle presence, but always there when we need them. The most difficult part as a creative is the « business » side of projects, something you never learn at school but only by working for others, it can be a challenge, that is why for us the key is to enjoy and believe in the projects we engage in, otherwise all the « un-fun » side of the process won’t be worth.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When friends come to Marseille and visit us, we always start with a tour of the building where we work. It is a very special one, it is called Unité d’Habitation and was designed by the architect Le Corbusier. The building date from 1952 but still feels up to date and visionary. The visit of the building would finish on the roof top that offers an 360 view of the city, looking toward the west you have the Mediterranean sea, to the north the city center, east side view the mountains, south side the « Calanques » (national park) which is where we are heading next. We would take a walk in the « Calanques », a unique kind of geological formation made of limestone with hidden beach at the bottom that is home to incredible marine life. To rest and enjoy a warm evening, we then head to a tiny fisherman’s port, located in town, to watch the sunset over an « aperitif ».
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To my business partner Camille with whom we started our journey and continue together. But there are so many other mentors and friends to mention that the list could be quite long…. but in general, we would like to shout out to all our collaborators for trusting in us, to the creative crowd (artists, photographers, designers, architects…) around us with whom we nourish a mutual aid on a daily basis which help to maintain solidarity in our community. Not to mention all the design mentors we worked for previously… and I’ll stop here otherwise we could go on for quite a while.
CP — RV / Max Verret / Manuel Amaral Netto